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  • Becoming Abolitionists

  • Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom
  • By: Derecka Purnell
  • Narrated by: Karen Chilton
  • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Becoming Abolitionists

By: Derecka Purnell
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
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Publisher's Summary

For more than a century, activists in the United States have tried to reform the police. From community policing initiatives to increasing diversity, none of it has stopped the police from killing about three people a day. Millions of people continue to protest police violence because these “solutions” do not match the problem: The police cannot be reformed.

In Becoming Abolitionists, Purnell draws from her experiences as a lawyer, writer, and organizer initially skeptical about police abolition. She saw too much sexual violence and buried too many friends to consider getting rid of police in her hometown of St. Louis, let alone the nation. But the police were a placebo. Calling them felt like something, and something feels like everything when the other option seems like nothing.

Purnell details how multiracial social movements rooted in rebellion, risk-taking, and revolutionary love pushed her and a generation of activists toward abolition. The book travels across geography and time and offers lessons that activists have learned from Ferguson, Missouri, to South Africa, from Reconstruction to contemporary protests against police shootings.

Here, Purnell argues that police cannot be reformed and invites listeners to envision new systems that work to address the root causes of violence. Becoming Abolitionists shows that abolition is not solely about getting rid of police, but a commitment to create and support different answers to the problem of harm in society and, most excitingly, an opportunity to reduce and eliminate harm in the first place.

©2021 Derecka Purnell (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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A historical insight to how shockingly people of colour were treated.

We are all god’s children regardless of who your god or higher spirit is. We are all equally and we were all put on this earth for a reason that is to benefit mankind. Mankind but man has not been so kind.

It is shameful that man has been so cruel, ego driven and has been conditioned or brainwashed into doing the devils work.

This book provides an insight to the shameful and shocking ways the people of colour has been so poorly treated in America. Similar treatment of Australian aborigines. It must stop. The colour of one’s skin nor their birthplace should be considered as a defining factor. There is a better, inclusive, more holistic approach to peace and kindness for all. What a wonderful world this could be.

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Every word is a learning

I loved this book. I thought I was an abolitionist before I read this, and now I have so much more knowledge and resources and hope.

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